By Kevin O'Keefe

Blog software for large law firm intranets and knowledge management

Blog software is some powerful stuff. At a time when large law firms are spending huge dollars on intranets and extranets for knowledge management there is easy to use software available for a fraction of the price. It’s Movable Type, the same software we use at lexBlog to produce our lawyer blogs.

Keith Robinson, a developer here in Seattle and well known around the net for Web standards work, reports he moved a “huge portion of Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center’s intranet into Movable Type — about 90%. This includes departmental sites, informational sites, applications and just about a bit of everything else.”

Children’s is larger than large law firms having 15 facilities in 4 states with 12,000 admissions, 28,000 emergency room visits, and more than 180,000 outpatient visits per year.

Keith describes just some of the pluses:

It’s a really remarkable and interesting solution that I think will pay huge dividends. If it goes smoothly, which I have no doubt it should, we’re going to be able to provide very low cost (both in effort and monetarily) distributed authorship and increase functionality for both our users and stakeholders.

By providing them with not only a vehicle to update their pages themselves, but also with tools to provide news, announcements, knowledge management and more — we’re really taking a huge step forward in turning our intranet into something that should show some big enterprise-wide ROI. With out the cost and hassle of a “real” content management system.

We went down that road and found it sorely lacking.

Highlights of items included in the intranet:

[W]orking out a Movable Type solution for the home pages and “hub” pages so that the internal communications team could supply “channels” of news and announcements targeting the different audiences down at the hospital. We also used MT to run our events calendar.

At the same time we figured out ways to pull some of our applications into Movable Type. Things like our Policies and Procedures and Electronic Forms pages, which once were quite the bear to maintain, proved to be a natural fit and are now as easy as adding or editing an entry in MT.

Keith puts it best, “Anyone with solid goals, a plan and a good understanding of the related technologies could put something like this into place. Don’t let anyone tell you that you need to spend thousands of dollars to do distributed authorship or content management the right way. It’s simply not true.”

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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